Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Published: 3/5/2024 3:21 PM

 The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools across the country, including Kentucky. According to the U.S. Department of Education, ESSA:

  • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
  • Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
  • Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators—consistent with our Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods​
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time. 
Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state education agencies, including the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), are required to submit a plan detailing the implementation of the law and how federal education dollars will be spent. The latest version of Kentucky's Consolidated State Plan ​was most recently approved by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020.

In April 2021, KDE submitted proposed revisions to the May 2020 plan to reflect alignment with SB 158 (2020) and update current initiatives.  An overview of the proposed revisions is below.

  • Overview of accountability changes to align with KY SB 158 (2020)
  • Updates the Kentucky Board of Education vision statement
  • Section A. Title 1, Part A:
    Updates to the standards development process and timeline to reflect current work
    Updates minimum N count to 30 for accountability and 10 for reporting
    Adds progress toward English Language Proficiency as indicator in school accountability
    Updates timeline/process to align with USED accountability waivers
  • Section D. Title II, Part A:
    Updates to timelines/dates
    Clarifies the KDE role in Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP)
  • Section F. Title IV, Part A:
    Adds Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Section G. Title IV:
    Renames Progress Risk Assessment to Progress Self-Assessment
    Renames Desk Review to Technical Assistance (TA) Visit
  • Section I. McKinney-Vento:
  • Updates to data collection process
    Outlines the KDE role in Kentucky Early Intervention Services (KEIS)

​ Meredith Brewer, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Education Policy
Office of the Commissioner
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6569

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